200 evacuated as huge blaze spreads in Taiwanese factory in southern Vietnam

By Cuu Long   March 23, 2017 | 11:26 pm GMT+7
200 evacuated as huge blaze spreads in Taiwanese factory in southern Vietnam
Huge fire engulfs Taiwanese garment factory in Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on March 23. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long

'When I went inside, everything was ruined,' the garment factory executive said.

Just as the firefighters thought the inferno that had erupted at a Taiwanese garment factory in southern Vietnam on Thursday morning had been contained, it spread to an adjacent building.

Over 100 people have been evacuated from a nearby apartment building to a nearby school, said ward chief Nguyen Hung Viet, adding that another 100 will soon join them. 

A police officer is seen evacuating an old men from an apartment building at risk of catching fire from the factory blaze. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long

A police officer is seen evacuating an old man from an apartment building that is at risk of catching fire from the factory blaze. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long

The fire started on the top floor of a five-story building where garment firm Kwong Lung - Meko stores fabric in the southern city of Can Tho, forcing hundreds of workers to flee.

Around 9 p.m. today, the fire unexpectedly spread through a conveyor belt to an adjacent building which stores fur, threatening the safety of residents living nearby.

No casualties have been reported. 

"The fire is very hard to contain because it started far up and the factory stores a lot of flammable materials," colonel Le Tan Buu, director of HCMC Firefighting Police Department told VnExpress. "As we coordinate many forces, I think the fire will soon be stopped."

Hundreds of firefighters from nearby provinces, including Ho Chi Minh City, have been dispatched to help Can Tho battle the blaze.

Upon seeing the fire spread all over his factory, a Taiwanese executive who gave his name as Lai, fainted and was taken away in an ambulance.

"When I went inside, everything was ruined," Lai said earlier this afternoon. 

Kwong Lung - Meko specializes in feather processing and garment production. Its factory covers about 17,000 m2 and has more than 1,300 workers in the Tra Noc Industrial Zone, about 15km from downtown Can Tho.